Kiss my Yasi

Cyclone Yasi is a strong CAT5 and has Australia firmly in its sights. It will be hitting an area where about 30% of the worlds sugar is produced so say goodbye to relatively cheap sugar and say hi to increases in baked goods and other foods. The weather station on Willis Island was torn off when the wind hit 290 km/H (180 MPH) -- true high wind speed is not known. Willis is on the Great Barrier Reef which is basically toast now. From the UK Guardian:

Australians flee as 'catastrophic' Cyclone Yasi approaches
Tens of thousands of Australians have fled their homes, as Cyclone Yasi - predicted to be the worst in Australia's history, nears the Queensland coast. Many residents have also stocked up on food and hunkered down in shelters to protect themselves from the forecast of furious winds, rains and surging seas on a scale unseen there in generations.

Cyclone Yasi was upgraded overnight to a category five storm -- the highest possible, and is due to hit near Cairns at about midnight local time.

Queensland Premier Anna Bligh said the last cyclone of such strength to cross Queensland was in 1918 and advised residents to "just grab each other" and find safety.

"It's such a big storm it's a monster, killer storm," she said. "This impact is likely to be more life threatening than any experienced during recent generations."

She warned that the next 24 hours will see extremely dangerous conditions.

"We are facing a storm of catastrophic proportions in a highly populated area," she said. "All aspects of this cyclone are going to be terrifying and potentially very, very damaging.

"Do not bother to pack bags. Just grab each other and get to a place of safety. Remember that people are irreplaceable," she said.

Bligh added that the greatest threat to life could come from tidal surges up to seven metres above normal high tide levels. The storm is due to hit at high tide.

The bureau of meteorology said the impact of cyclone Yasi is likely to be "more life-threatening than any experienced during recent generations".

From the Wall Street Journal:

Cyclone Yasi to hit 26 sugar mills, 4 coastal terminals
The sugar industry in Australia, the world's third-largest exporter, is facing one of its biggest ever disasters in the next 24 hours as Tropical Cyclone Yasi bears down on the prime growing and milling region on the country's northeastern coast.

Yasi will add to the woes of an industry that was battered by poor weather and floods through the key harvesting and crushing period in the latter half of 2010, and it will further affect Queensland, which has only just started to recover from deadly and devastating flooding in southern and central regions over the past month.

At time of publication, Yasi was rated at the highest category-5 level, with winds exceeding 280kph. Yasi is expected to cross the coast between Cairns and Townsville in Queensland around 1300 GMT, after intensifying while travelling westward through the Coral Sea.

To get an idea of the magnitude of this beast, check out this image:

yasi-superimposed-on-usa.jpg

Image from news.com.au The Bannanas? From news.ninemsn.com.au:

Yasi to strip banana crops: farmer
When category four Cyclone Larry tore through their Innisfail banana farm in 2006, Dianne and Frank Sciacca lost 100 per cent of their crop.

Now, after a fight of almost five years to get Pacific Coast Eco Bananas back on track, the pair are once again facing total devastation as Cyclone Yasi looms.

"I literally can't believe it. Yesterday I was in complete denial," Mrs Sciacca said.

"I was literally shaking at different times because the shock starts to hit you."

She predicts their 120,000 banana trees, yielding their distinctive wax-tipped product, will be stripped by midnight tonight - along with every banana tree between Cairns and Ingham.

"This will devastate the whole (banana) industry. There will be nothing standing after midnight tonight - that's a given. It doesn't matter where it hits," she said.

"Any bananas standing between Cairns and Ingham will be gone because you only need 50km/h winds to knock over a banana crop, a pawpaw crop and also cane.

"What you have got to realise is the last nine months we have had constant rain.

"We have had the wettest 2010 ever and all the rooting systems on all these crops is not deep and strong ... because of the soil being wet all the time."

Well Crap...

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About this Entry

This page contains a single entry by DaveH published on February 1, 2011 8:46 PM.

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